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Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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Upon Written Request, Copies Available From: Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, Washington, DC 20549-0213.

Extension: Rule 17a-6, SEC File No. 270-506, OMB Control No. 3235-0564.

Notice is hereby given that, pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501), the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) is soliciting comments on the collections of information summarized below. The Commission plans to submit these existing collections of information to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) for extension and approval.

Section 17(a) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the “Act”) generally prohibits affiliated persons of a registered investment company (“fund”) from borrowing money or other property from, or selling or buying Start Printed Page 81682securities or other property to or from, the fund or any company that the fund controls.[1] Rule 17a-6 (17 CFR 270.17a-6) permits a fund and a “portfolio affiliate” (a company that is an affiliated person of the fund because the fund controls the company, or holds five percent or more of the company's outstanding voting securities) to engage in principal transactions that would otherwise be prohibited under section 17(a) of the Act under certain conditions. A fund may not rely on the exemption in the rule to enter into a principal transaction with a portfolio affiliate if certain prohibited participants (e.g., directors, officers, employees, or investment advisers of the fund) have a financial interest in a party to the transaction. Rule 17a-6 specifies certain interests that are not “financial interests,” including any interest that the fund's board of directors (including a majority of the directors who are not interested persons of the fund) finds to be not material. A board making this finding is required to record the basis for the finding in its meeting minutes. This recordkeeping requirement is a collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (“PRA”).[2]

The rule is designed to permit transactions between funds and their portfolio affiliates in circumstances in which it is unlikely that the affiliate would be in a position to take advantage of the fund. In determining whether a financial interest is “material,” the board of the fund should consider whether the nature and extent of the interest in the transaction is sufficiently small that a reasonable person would not believe that the interest affected the determination of whether to enter into the transaction or arrangement or the terms of the transaction or arrangement. The information collection requirements in rule 17a-6 are intended to ensure that Commission staff can review, in the course of its compliance and examination functions, the basis for a board of director's finding that the financial interest of an otherwise prohibited participant in a party to a transaction with a portfolio affiliate is not material.

Based on staff discussions with fund representatives, we estimate that funds currently do not rely on the exemption from the term “financial interest” with respect to any interest that the fund's board of directors (including a majority of the directors who are not interested persons of the fund) finds to be not material. Accordingly, we estimate that annually there will be no principal transactions under rule 17a-6 that will result in a collection of information.

The Commission requests authorization to maintain an inventory of one burden hour to ease future renewals of rule 17a-6's collection of information analysis should funds rely on this exemption to the term “financial interest” as defined in rule 17a-6.

The estimate of burden hours is made solely for the purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act. The estimate is not derived from a comprehensive or even a representative survey or study of the costs of Commission rules. Complying with this collection of information requirement is necessary to obtain the benefit of relying on rule 17a-6. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid control number.

Written comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Consideration will be given to comments and suggestions submitted in writing within 60 days of this publication.

Please direct your written comments to Thomas Bayer/Chief Information Officer, Securities and Exchange Commission, c/o Remi Pavlik-Simon, 6432 General Green Way, Alexandria, VA 22312; or send an e-mail to:

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Dated: December 20, 2010.

Florence E. Harmon,

Deputy Secretary.

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[FR Doc. 2010-32518 Filed 12-27-10; 8:45 am]